Friday, September 14, 2007

Multi-Million dollar boost for franchise cricket

By Celeste Ganga
14 September 2007

Cricket South Africa’s six franchises will get the chance to compete for a $2 million first prize in a new Twenty20 Champions League international tournament which will begin next year.

“The tournament will feature the two top domestic Twenty20 teams from South Africa, Australia, India and England,” says Media officer for Cricket South Africa, Michael Owen- Smith.

In South Africa’s case, this will be the finalists in the Standard Bank Pro20 tournament.

“This is going to be a massive boost for the six franchises competing in our domestic Standard Bank Pro20 competition,” says Cricket South Africa’s CEO, Gerald Majola.

Majola adds that the Standard Bank Pro20 competition already attracts record crowds and this added incentive, is going to increase the excitement even more.

“It will also give franchise fans the chance of supporting their favourite teams in the international arena,” says Majola.

Majola explains that local players will also get the opportunity of playing international Twenty20 cricket against the best in the world and this will assist them in widening the pool of players capable of competing successfully at international level.

“This new Champions League is a clear indication that pro20 cricket has been well received, an assurance that our investment has been a very worthwhile one,” says Director of Group Sponsorships Standard Bank, Marius Vorster.

The first Champions Twenty20 League is due to start in October 2008, with the eight competing teams divided in pools. Teams will play a round robin before the top two from each pool progress to the semi-final stage. The venues are yet to be confirmed.


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